Corporate giving policy

EDF’s advocacy is never for sale.

EDF operates in four anchor regions – the U.S., Europe, China and India – and undertakes projects or initiatives in other places, including Mexico, Indonesia, Japan and elsewhere. Corporate giving is a primary source of charitable funding in some of the places EDF works. Tax incentives and disincentives for giving vary greatly, and corporate giving can be a tax-advantaged means of providing support in some parts of the world. Having support from local benefactors is also important for legitimacy, acceptance by local policymakers, and it may be legally required to operate in some places.

EDF’s corporate giving policy aims to allow for all of our regions to have the resources and local legitimacy needed to achieve our goals.

It is also designed to ensure that – no matter where in the world – EDF is able to pursue bold, game-changing climate solutions while rigorously protecting our independence, objectivity and reputation.

Corporate Giving Principles

  • EDF’s advocacy is never for sale. Where eligible, gifts from corporations or corporate-controlled foundations must not be made with the expectation of influencing our policy positions or agenda.
  • In order to protect our reputation and avoid real or perceived conflicts of interest, EDF will not accept gifts from fossil fuel companies or other companies whose primary business areas or environmental performance record conflict with EDF’s mission. 
  • EDF reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to refuse any gift, particularly those that are not consistent with its mission; that could hinder EDF’s advocacy; that could introduce a material real or perceived conflict of interest; that could expose EDF or our partners to liability, reputational harm or adverse publicity; or that could violate local, state or national laws.
  • EDF accepts gifts that help to further our mission, that are consistent with our organizational values and with local philanthropic norms, and that enable EDF and its partners to achieve significant, scalable results.

Corporate giving in the United States 

In the US, EDF and EDF Action do not actively pursue donations from corporations or corporate-controlled foundations. When gifts are offered – as they infrequently are – EDF will perform due diligence and consultation to assess its suitability relative to the Corporate Giving Principles laid out above. Gifts will not be accepted from companies we work with or that are involved with or impacted by EDF’s U.S. advocacy or litigation.

Corporate giving outside the United States

Outside the US, EDF can accept corporate donations following due diligence and consultation to assess its suitability relative to the Corporate Giving Principles laid out above as well as the local legal, tax and philanthropic context.

All potential corporate gifts must be reviewed and approved by EDF Regional Directors (or the Executive Vice President, Regions if there is no local Director) following due diligence and consultation with other relevant executives. Potential gifts from multinational corporations also require approval from EDF’s Executive Director.

Along with reputational risk, independence, real or perceived conflicts, and other aspects of the Corporate Giving Principles, the due diligence review must consider whether a gift could impact any aspects of EDF’s relationship with that company. Gifts will not be accepted from companies that are involved with EDF’s litigation or advocacy anywhere in the world, if they contain or imply a quid pro quo, impact EDF’s ability to effectively work with the company or influence its positions and environmental performance, or from companies that stand to directly gain financial or other material benefits from our advocacy.